The Elder’s Daughter: Part 17
“I wonder what to do next. If I go ahead and marry Jacob, I I’ll be the unhappiest person on earth. If I decide not to marry him, my father will take it as an act of disobedience and will hate me for the rest of his life. Lord what can I do? Is this really your plan for my life? To marry a man who’s so full of himself? A man that has no consideration for others, whatsoever!” Esther thought to herself the following day as she sat outside the hostel. The previous day had been hell to her: Jacob had behaved like a small boy in front of so many people when they had gone out. She remembered how he boasted in front of so many people as they gathered to watch a soccer match in one of the restaurants where they had gone to have lunch. After the match, he had tried to force Esther to spend the night with him at the hotel. But Esther had resisted even after much confrontation with him.
“Esther my friend! I am so glad to see you. I missed you so much!” Angela shouted as she came running towards her. Esther rose up in excitement “Oh my God! Angela!” She shouted as they both gave each other a long warm hug. Angela was looking very beautiful. She wore a pair of blue jeans and a pink top with pink canvas.
Esther: Oh my friend you look so beautiful. I can see that the holidays really did you well
Angela: Oh come on! You are the one looking so beautiful. Your skin is glowing. Oh my God!!!!!! Is this what I think it is? Esther what is this ring doing on your finger? Did you get engaged without telling me?
Angela: Come on, tell me the whole story and don’t beat about the bush. Hmm now I know why David was telling me that he couldn’t wait to see you because he had something important to tell you. I should have guessed! So how did he propose, please tell me?
Esther looked perplexed. What was Angela trying to say? Did David have the intention of proposing to her? Why didn’t he tell her then? All these thoughts ran through her mind. She looked at Angela and started crying “No my friend. David has nothing to do with this. I am engaged to another man from my town” she said. Angela looked at her steadily “But then why are you crying? Don’t you love the man?” she asked, trying to understand what was going on. Esther just broke down in tears. She put her head on Angela’s laps as she wept bitterly. Angela rubbed her back gently to comfort her. When she was finally ready to talk, Esther wiped her tears and said “I am in deep pain Angela, I am in deep pain”. She narrated the whole story to Angela.
Angela felt really bad for her “I am really sorry my friend. I wish I could say that I understand how you feel, but I cannot because my parents have always given me the liberty to make my own choices considering the fact that I am not a baby anymore” she said. Esther shook her head “You are lucky my dear. I have no say in any decision that is made by my father and I have to respect him at all times” She said. Angela answered “Of course you have to respect him because he is your father. I am just sad that regarding such a huge decision that will affect your life forever, you were not consulted to know your stand. I believe that no one should force a marriage partner on anyone, not even our own parents because it is between two people. If truly this man is who you say he is, then I wonder how you will cope with him the rest of your life”. Esther wept again upon hearing this.
“There, there, my friend. Don’t cry. There should be a way out of this situation” Angela said. Esther looked at Angela upon hearing this “you mean there is something that I can do about it?” she asked curiously. Angela put her hand around Esther’s shoulder and spoke to her gently “My dear friend, in everything, it is always expedient to use wisdom. It is true that your father has already made a decision that you have to respect at all cost. I would advise you to allow time to play its role in arranging everything in your life”
Esther: You are speaking like my mother. She told me the exact words: to allow time to take its full course. I just don’t understand what she really means
Angela: Yes she is right. Just go with the flow. Accept that you are now engaged to Jacob and just play along, but be wise. Don’t allow him to win your heart because of money, because I can assure you that people can change because of money regardless of their former state of mind. Continue being who you are and concentrate on your studies. Most importantly, do not have any sexual contact with him. Time will tell whether you will eventually fall in love with him or if things will not work out. But believe me, at the end, you will have what will bring joy to your heart because you are a good person.
Esther: What about David? What if he wanted to propose to me?
Angela: My dear, time will tell. Besides, David is still not in the capacity to marry you. I am sure that even if he wanted to propose to you, it would just be for you to become his girlfriend because he is also still just a mere student. Continue being friends. I personally believe that friendship is even better than a relationship.
Esther: You are a true friend, Angela. I thank God for bringing you my way. By the way, I have some local fruits that I brought for you from my town. I know you like them so I thought of carrying quite a handful for you
Angela: I am not even wasting my time. Let’s go and get them right now. Those fruits are quite expensive here in town.
Esther laughed as they both went to her room. They found Janet seated alone, watching a movie. She looked at them scornfully as they entered. Esther did not mind her, but Angela looked at her scornfully as well. “Leave her. Don’t waste your time on such people” Esther whispered to her. She brought out a huge plastic bag and gave it to Angela. “Oh my God! Esther, this is a lot. I can’t believe this. I will even share it with dad because he loves these fruits. Thank you so much” Angela screamed. Esther smiled. They both stayed for a while discussing school matters before Angela decided to leave. Esther was escorting her down the hallway when Jacob arrived. Angela was surprised when he went straight to give a hug to Esther. “Hello baby” he said. Angela then understood that he was the one Esther had told her about. She stood still and starred at both of them, in amazement. “Please meet my friend Angela. She is the only friend I have here. She is like a sister to me” Esther said to Jacob, pointing to Angela. Jacob smiled “Oh this is your second friend, apart from that so called economist. Nice to meet you Angela. I hope you are not also studying economics because I will personally ask you to study something else” He said, as he stretched his hand to greet Angela. Angela did not stretch her hand. She said to him in a seemingly irritated voice “And just what is wrong with economics, if I may ask?” Jacob laughed “Well, like I told that economist, it is an obsolete subject that does not make sense at all because we have so many economists in the country who cannot even provide tangible solutions to eradicate poverty” he said.
Esther was already feeling so ashamed. She was thinking of how to put an end to the conversation, when Angela responded “Well I guess the country is still in this terrible situation because of people like you who think they have got it all. Even if economists put in place good strategies to help boost the economy of the country, people like you will discard it like a hot brick, because you think you know it all. Esther told me that you are a Banker. Well I would like to let you know that there are a lot of cases where bankers have preyed on people’s hard earned money. In other words, they were caught stealing and busy buying luxurious cars and going from one night club to the other, living a life that is fake”. Esther couldn’t believe her ears. Jacob was equally shocked. He looked at Angela and said arrogantly “How dare you talk to me like that? Do you even know me before you can open your mouth to speak such stupidity?” Angela replied “And how dare you say such nonsense about my friend David? Do you also know him before opening your mouth to speak such insanity?”
Esther knew that if she did not stop them, they would continue arguing and probably turn it into something else. She spoke firmly “Both of you, just stop it please. This is not the time and place to be arguing about useless matters. I did not introduce both of you to solve quarrels, please” Jacob shouted “How can you allow a stupid girl like this to speak to your fiancé in such a manner? Instead of defending me you are busy trying to cover her up”
Angela answered “I am sorry Esther. I didn’t mean to bring up a fight of any sort. I was just hurt by his words and because David is my friend, I had to speak for him. Let me leave both of you as I wouldn’t want to spoil your day. I will see you later”. Angela left in fury. Esther was also upset, but she was also somehow glad that Angela had told him off. He definitely needed someone to put him at his right place.
Esther: Is it possible for you to stay a day without despising others by showing that you are better than anyone else in life?
Jacob: Please don’t make me more upset than I already am. What kind of a fiancé are you that cannot even defend me in front of your so called friend. That little brat that looks like a rodent!
Esther: you have such a terrible character. Sometimes I wish you could record yourself and hear just how inhuman you sound whenever you talk
Jacob: How dare you call me inhuman! Just who the hell do you think you are? Is it because I have humbled myself to the point of asking for your hand in marriage that you should insult me this way? Don’t you know that there are so many girls that are after me? Girls that are far better than you!
Esther: then I beg you in the name of God, please go and marry one of them and leave me in peace. Get someone that is better than me and make her your wife
Jacob: you are crazy! Will your father be able to pay me back all the money that I have invested in you? The dowry, the school fees and all the expenses I have spent on you!
Upon hearing this, Esther broke down and cried. She thought of her poor father. She thought of the hustle he would have to go through in order to pay Jacob back. She shook her head in remorse. Jacob put his hand on her shoulder but Esther pushed him so hard. Some students who were passing by starred at them. Esther, because of her timidity, ran to hide in her room for the fear of being looked at. Jacob followed her. Janet looked at them as they entered in anger. “Hello Janet, sorry to disturb you in such manner. Could you kindly excuse Esther and I for a few minutes as we need to discuss something very important? I promise it won’t take time. Thank you for your understanding” Jacob said. Janet nodded her head and left the room, as she starred at both of them.
Jacob spent more than 30 minutes apologizing to Esther until she finally stated that she had forgiven him. “Thank you my dear. You and I have to understand that our relationship is bound to experience some minor difficulties because we are just getting to know each other, but I know that with time, we shall learn to understand each other and everything will be fine. Thank you for forgiving me. I actually came to inform you that I am leaving this morning instead of tomorrow morning as planned because I have an urgent thing to do at the office. However, I have good news for you: I will be coming back to this place next month for three whole weeks as I have to train a new branch Manager that has just been employed in one of our branches here in town. I promise that we will spend more time together when I am here. I love you” he said. Esther was both surprised and happy that he was finally leaving. She pretended to be sad as she wanted him to leave the room as soon as possible. “It’s alright. Work is more important because it is what puts food on your table. I wish you a safe journey back home. Please pass my regards to my family” she said. After talking to her for a few minutes, Jacob stood up and left. Esther escorted him to his car and off he went.
Esther went back to her room feeling so relieved. She took her phone and dialed David’s number.
David: Hi Esther. How are you doing?
Esther: I am fine thanks. I was wondering if you are busy. I would like you to escort me to town to buy some books at the bookstore
David: Hmm. What about your fiancé? Will he allow you to go out to town with me? I don’t want to cause any trouble
Esther: Which trouble? He can’t do anything because he has just left now. He is going back to our town
David: Oh really? So that is why you have the liberty to do something that won’t please him behind his back hun? I am sorry, but I don’t think I will be able to escort you. You can ask Angela maybe
Esther: Oh come on David! It’s not as if it’s a crime to have you as my friend. Please just escort me, I promise I won’t take much of your time. I don’t know the place very well
David: I am sorry Esther, I wish I could help, but I am quite busy. Maybe next time. I need to go now, my boss is calling me
David had hung up. Esther stood still. She felt hurt and abandoned. She was hoping that she could go back to the old days of friendship with David but it seemed that she was wrong. “How will I cope at school knowing that my good friend no longer wants to be my friend?” she asked herself. She threw herself on the bed and lay down, starring at the ceiling.
- To be continued…………
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